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2019 | 8 | 191-204

Article title

Metafora prawna osoby w koncepcji prawa Hansa Kelsena



Title variants

A Legal Metaphor of a Person in the Concept of Hans Kelsen’s Law

Languages of publication



In my article, I present the person metaphor as the constitutive term for the theory of artificial persons. We have been dealing with various manners of reading the nature of the legal person, and consequently of law in general, especially private law (Privatrecht), since Roman times to this day. The point of departure for my deliberations, in which I try to demonstrate the nature of metaphorical expressions used in building legal theories, is a statement by Paul Kirchhof, who demanded that metaphorical expressions be eradicated from positive (statutory) law. I ask if the demand can also be applied to theoretical deliberations of lawyers on the nature of law. Based on examples from legal discussions on the nature of the legal person, I formulate the claim that Paul Kirchhof ’s demand should be applied only to positive law texts. Metaphorical expressions have no raison d’être in such texts, especially if they are meant to serve as terms. A different situation occurs where a metaphorical expression is the basis for building a legal system and relations among its components. At this phase of developing law, metaphorical expressions give rise to similarities on which its functions depend. Therefore, at the stage of structuring the meanings of legal terms, corresponding to the vagueness of the metaphor are the important processes of defining and then using legal terms.


  • Uniwersytet Wrocławski


Document Type

Publication order reference


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